Q: Dear Jareesa,
I recently got married and it was in so many ways absolutely perfect. Our vendors were a dream and exceeded all of our expectations, and for the most part, there was not much drama among guests. However, there is one thing I am stuck on: my dress. My mother paid for my dress and that, along with a few other factors, resulted in buying a dress I did not like. I should also mention that I have never been the type of woman to fantasize about my wedding, but I am obsessed with Say Yes to the Dress and am madly in love with wedding dresses. My wedding dress is the one thing I was emotionally invested in.
To make matter worse, I quickly showed my now-husband after my mother had purchased it, and he also hated it. I ended up buying a different dress for the reception that was good but not great. Now that it’s all said and done, I am still sad about missing out on the dress of my dreams and not sure how to move on. Any advice?
A: Dear Dress Regret,
Out of all the human emotions, regret has to be one of the worst ones. I’m really sorry that you look back on your wedding day with regrets, instead of feeling joy that you celebrated your marriage with your friends and family. I don’t think you’re alone in how you’re feeling. Many of us look back at important moments and focus on the things that we didn’t like, or that didn’t go well, instead of looking at the things that were awesome.
Your wedding already happened, and you wore two dresses that you didn’t love. Unless you’re committed to spending a lot of money, you don’t get a do-over here. So I think you have two options: wallow in regret, or choose to let it go. Wallowing is the easy thing, ’cause you’re already doing it. But it won’t make you feel better, and it will also keep you from seeing all the wonderful things that did happen, like marrying your husband and celebrating with your loved ones. Wallowing in regret and sadness about your dresses will keep you from having fond memories of your delicious food, or the touching toasts that were shared, or how happy you felt when you walked down the aisle.
Making the choice to let go of the past is the best thing you can do for yourself. And give yourself some grace—you’re human and we’re all disappointed sometimes. It sucks that you were disappointed on a day that meant so much to you, but it doesn’t take away the fact that you ended up married, just not in the dress that you expected to wear.
—Jareesa Tucker McClure
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